The story behind the yellow shirt

The story behind the yellow shirt

Just when you think you know everything there is to know about Jack Nicklaus and the 1986 Masters, we are presented with the story behind Jack's habit of wearing a yellow shirt on Sundays.

Warning: this is probably the best golf apparel related story of all time, so you'll forgive me if Chapeau Noir decides to never post again.

Wright Thompson brought us the ESPN version of the 'yellow shirt story' during the first round of the 2011 Masters, but a moving written word account can be found on, written by Bill Fields.

"When Craig became so ill and we knew he would not live, Jack came to the house," Mary Lou remembers. "Jack said to him, 'What's your favorite color golf shirt?' Craig and his grandfather both swore yellow shirts were very good luck. They often wore them. Craig told Jack, 'Yellow.' And Jack said, 'Every Sunday, when I'm playing and you can watch it on television, I will wear a yellow shirt, and that's my 'Hello Craig.' "

There was always more to the yellow shirt than what met the eye.

Now it's not as if Jack's reputation as an upstanding gentleman and sportsman really required further enhancement, but it is important to remember that there once was a time when Nicklaus was cast as the villain against Arnold Palmer, the hero. Taking into account the perpective time grant us, can we allow ourselves to think of a day when Mickelson and Tiger are pals and perform the ceremonial tee shots on Thursday morning in the manner Palmer and Nicklaus do now?

It doesn't seem likely, but 30 years from now, who's to say we won't discover something special about those who we think we know.

Chapeau Noir wonders if Jack Nicklaus Apparel might once again reissue the 1986 version of his famous yellow shirt, as was the case last year. Here's betting a worthy charitable foundation could benefit handsomely.

Note that the Nicklaus heritage pieces described here have since been discontinued since the brand rights were shifted, apologies for the broken links within the article.